If you sometimes wonder whether Congress is obtuse, narcissistic, or just stupid, a trantrum by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin provided evidence that the answer is yes.

The corporate Democrat has gotten mad — in both senses of the word.

First, he’s mad at Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Raul Grijalva, Ro Khanna, and other gutsy progressives in the U.S. House.

They rose up against their own party leaders this month to kill Manchin’s corrupt, backdoor effort to force his massive Mountain Valley Pipeline project down the throats of rural and small town people in his own state.

Local people in West Virginia have repeatedly defeated this foul fossil fuel boondoggle, but their senator kept conniving with industry lobbyists and congressional leaders to revive it, trying to stiff the public will.

His latest gambit was to hide the pipeline scam in the humongous $850 billion military budget, hoping no one would notice. But Jayapal, Grijalva, and a few other progressive leaders did notice — and they had the chutzpah and the votes to strip it out of the Pentagon bill.

This drove the plutocratic senator from being mad (as in angry) to going mad (as in nutty). The defeat of his political scheme, he wailed, was the result of “toxic tribal politics,” adding that “this is why the American people hate politics in Washington.”

Get a grip, Joe! You’re the one in Washington sneaking around to help the superrich corporate tribe rig government rules to extract more profit from the toxic contamination of people, whole communities, and Mother Nature. You, and your bipartisan corrupt cohorts, are why millions of Americans hate Washington politics.

If politicians really think toxic gas pipelines are essential for America’s energy future, they and their industry funders should run some under their own neighborhoods for a change.

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Jim Hightower

Otherwords columnist Jim Hightower is radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.

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